Moʻorea is a high island in French Polynesia, part of the Society Islands, northwest of Tahiti. Mo'orea is about 10 miles in width from the west to the east. There are two small, nearly symmetrical bays on the north shore. The one to the west is called 'Ōpūnohu Bay which isn't very populated but many travelers have come into the bay. The one to the east is named Cook's Bay.
We went our separate ways today! George headed out with just a few other photographers, in the company of a local professional, to explore the scenic spots of the island. Marney, no photographer and not wanting to claim a seat on a limited tour that could take only a few photographers, opted for a beach picnic which promised more time in the water. Both excursions delivered handsomely. George came back with photos of areas we couldn't have reached on our own, and Marney not only snorkeled near the motu while lunch was prepared, but also found large rays leisurely swimming past her ankles as she walked in the shallow water near shore. A second stop, entering the water again to feed a large group of both rays and dolphins was an added treat.
At at Marney's picnic on the beach in Moorea everyone was treated to a "start to finish" demonstration of a sushi tuna salad, island style, and the results were served as a part of the picnic. We learned the island way of opening a coconut and then grating it on the sharp point of stool on which the chef sits. Local limes were squeezed and local vegetables were grated and added to the fresh-caught tuna. The demonstration made the whole thing look easy although the coconut-grater person was clearly working hard. (There are machines that are usually used to grate the coconut, they work a lot like the juicer you'd use for oranges.) Of course most of us lack the readily-available just-caught fish, not flash-frozen onboard but just brought in from the boat and used. A delicious addition to any picnic!
George's Blog: On the 11th we visited Moorea. It is the island you most think of as a South Pacific Island. We had a great time. I went on a photo expedition with a local professional photographer in a 4 wheel drive vehicle which was necessary to traverse the steep and rough mountain roads (if you can call them roads). The views were terrific. Marney went to a private beach for a prepared lunch, snorkeling and relaxing on the beach. The photos include photos of the mountain that is supposed to be the fictional Bali Hai from South Pacific. The wood carvings were made by a local artist (pictured). The views of our ship and lagoon from a high vantage point were from Magic Mountain. The flower is local to this area and only blooms at this time of year. The bungalows are the hotel rooms of a local Hilton Hotel (typical of hotels in Moorea and Bora Bora). Hard to see, but the people in the canoes are riding the waves over the coral reef (also the tender waves while the tenders are running).
I guess learning to prepare a raw tuna dish can't be called a "cooking" lesson! There's more about this in the narrative.
HAL Shore Excursions Moorea in Focus: A Photography Expedition Motu Beach Picnic and Ray Feeding
Blog Content & Website Design: Marney Wilde • Photographs by George Wilde